South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg says the relationship between Notre Dame and the city is vital when it comes to South Bend’s economic future.
He made a presentation to a group of engineering students on campus Monday afternoon.
“There’s so much rain power sloshing around Notre Dame,” Buttigieg said. “And so many ideas are being cooked up that could lead to businesses. The community, of course, has a huge interesting in making sure that those businesses grow here.”
Buttigieg explained that many of the city’s problems – from violence reduction to smart city planning – can be solved through the help of a wide range of engineers.
Instead of passing through the city in four years and then looking for employment opportunities elsewhere, Buttigieg says South Bend gives those students room to grow.
“If you’re good you can have a lot of responsibility very quickly,” he said. ”If you want to intern with engineering, if you want to intern in my office -- you can really do a lot of interesting things in local government because we really need the help.”
Many of students we’re surprised by the opportunities available to them – from work-shopping an idea at Innovation Park to specific projects like the restoration of Bowman Creek.
“If me and some buddies ever came up with an idea we would definitely consider going over to Innovation Park,” said Jack Ryan, a freshman in the engineering school at Notre Dame. “It would be good to get a jumpstart and get some advice from some people who had been in the field for a long time.”
Buttigieg said it’s all about students realizing they have those opportunities.
“We need to form better habits as a community for our businesses, which are crying out for talent, but historically didn't think there was much of a relationship at Notre Dame and students who may not be aware of some of the opportunities that there are for them,” he said. “They just need to look to each other.”